The levels of development (synonymous with the levels of presence, the levels of personality, the levels of awareness, etc.), are what bring depth to the Enneagram.
The levels are the pathway for our growth and development. They are how we make ourselves whole again.
So here I was, listening to two podcasts on my morning walk, and this teaching shined right through. I couldn’t NOT share it.
Podcast #1: Unlocking Us with Brene Brown and Brett Goldstein. Brene identifies with point one on the Enneagram. Things like order and integrity and justice and making the world a better place matter to her.
- In the average levels, where most of us find ourselves most of the time, someone identifying with point one would be really concerned that the podcast was going well, that people weren’t being offended, that it’s intent was clear, and most importantly, that everyone stayed on task according to plan.
There is nothing wrong with wanting these things. But sometimes, being attached to a particular way of doing things causes you to miss the mark.
- You might miss the opportunity to address an important – yet unexpected – topic that arises.
- You might tense up or edit out some really funny parts because they are “just not right.”
- You might inadvertently shame or correct the guest because they aren’t showing up the way you’d like them to.
Podcast #2: The Sassy Strategist, with Kim Dawson. Kim identifies with point 5 on the Enneagram. Things like depth of knowledge, preparation, strategy, and privacy are important to those who identify with point five.
- In the average levels of point five, a business owner might take lots of time to research and strategize about running a business, understand the kinds people who will potentially utilize the services, and may even be a little bit cynical about whether or not success is possible.
Again, there is nothing wrong with any of these approaches, but this depth of thought can also cause you to miss the mark.
- You might neglect one area of your life while you focus so intensely on another.
- You might not experience the satisfaction of running a business while you spend so much time researching the business.
- It is easy to forget the reasons why you started the business while you spend time trying to do it the way the research tells you that you “should” do it.
Both of these brilliant women showed up on their podcasts from the high side of their type. They both share a line with type 7 so we get to see what the cocktails of 1+7 look like and what 5+7 look like.
Brene showed up on this podcast at the high side of type one. She was awake, aware, paying attention, and dancing in the moment with her guest.
- Lots of cursing, but in an entertaining and “on-topic” way
- Lots of curiosity – the kind that lets the listener know that what you want to get at really matters to you – and you have no idea what that is. It is genuine curiosity.
- There was flexibility and fun throughout.
- There was also depth, and self-revelation, and vulnerability.
This is what it means to be “up the levels” of type one.
Kim’s personal journey that she shared on her podcast beautifully demonstrated what it can be like to move up the levels of type 5.
- There isn’t one right way to run a business.
- Knowing what matters to you is an important guide when strategizing in your business.
- In order to have the life you want, you need to be connected to all areas of your life, not solely focused on one.
- Actually showing up and dealing with challenges as they arise in your business works so much better than retreating to your head to figure things out.
The higher up the levels we are (the more present we are), the more we have access to the high side of all types.
What does it mean to be present?
Presence is when, as life is happening, you:
- Notice what is happening around you.
- Notice what is happening within you.
- Receive information in your gut, your heart, and your mind.
- Respond from THAT place.
For most of us, the majority of our time is spent living in stories we make up in our head based on an experience in the past or what we anticipate in the future. When this gets jumbled up with our personality type, it seals the deal, and how we react to life stops being about what is actually happening and more about how our type interprets what is happening.
When present, we find the high side of our own type. We do this by finding the high side of the types to which we are connected, also.
I heard Brene find her:
- high side of type 7: the part that is flexible, light-hearted, quick-witted, grateful, and receptive. They are curious and find the little moments in life full of wonder and amazement (you can imagine that average type 1 might be really, really bothered by this!).
- high side of type 4: spontaneous, connected, self-revelatory, bringing out the humanity in others, and welcome of all emotions (not just the dark ones that average type 4s tend to prefer!).
I heard Kim find her:
- high side of type 8: the part that shows up, addresses needs and issues as the arise, and learns that they don’t have to know every single thing before they engage with an experience.
- high side of type 7: engaged with the world, flexible and responsive, wanting and loving experiences in a right-sized way, trusting the process, and hopeful about the future.
The Enneagram is not simply a personality inventory; it isn’t a system that tells you “who you are.” In fact, it is the opposite.
The Enneagram is a framework for helping you see who you are underneath all the clutter and garbage your personality has added to the real you.
It helps you to see a path to bring more of the real you back into each and every moment.
The Enneagram welcomes you back; whole, true, and able to manage the world in a much more intelligent way.
Want to know more?
Check out the link for my upcoming course,